Underground mystery carved in salt – Wieliczka Salt Mine – World Heritage Site UNESCO – what’s worth to know?
Salt – It is one of those things, we don’t think about all the time, but it’s very useful and necessary. In the past, called „white gold” and was used as a currency. In the Middle Ages was considered a medical remedy. Today, we use salt not only in the kitchen, but also in the chemist, textile, and papermaking industries.
Due to large salts deposits, the Wieliczka Salt Mine was established and now we can admire the beauty of this place. It’s one of the most attractive salt mines in Poland, located in the south part of Poland, around 18 kilometers from Krakow. It’s possible to get there by public transport (some tips about transport, etc., you can see at the end of this text). The wealth of this mine ensured a place on World Heritage Site UNESCO. The fascinating history of people who created stories of this mine, the process of creation salt deposits and charming rock forms are attracting tourists from all over the world.
For tourists incoming to Krakow, Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the most important points to see while staying in this area.
Travelers can enjoy two routes.
The first one is the tourist route. The guide will take you to the underground world. During the exploring, you will have an opportunity to see the largest subterrene chapel in Europe – Saint Kinga’s Chapel – the most recognizable point of this route. If you want to find out where the miners were praying before work, you need to visit Sait Anthony’s Chapel. What’s interesting, chapels are lighting by chandeliers made of salt crystals. Also, due to underground lakes and carvings of famous people (for instance, Nicolaus Copernicus or John Paul II) sculpted in salt, you can feel like in a different world. You can meet with the collection of mining machines during walking underground corridors. You will reach 135 meters depth (800 steps down), but don’t worry – you won’t freeze, because there are approximately 17-18 degrees all the time and fortunately, to get off you can use a lift.
The second one is the mining route. It is appropriate for people who love challenges and adrenalin. If you are interested in mining, you should visit this route, because you will have an opportunity to personate a miner. The main tasks will include: you need to find the right way, of course in the underground world and you will try to find the salt. It will be so mysterious because the only source of light is your torch. Due to appropriate equipment like torches, protective outfits, helmets, and carbon monoxide hoods, travelers can feel safe.
• how to get there?
You can take bus 304 (towards Kopalnia Soli Wieliczka). The first stop is Dworzec Głowny Zachod – next to the Krakowska Shopping Mall. The last stop is Wieliczka Kopalnia Soli.
Please, remember about the ticket for 50 minutes (this is the ticket for one use at the same time). The ticket you can buy in the ticket machines located on stops or directly on the bus. The duration is approximately 35 minutes.
Also, you can travel by the suburban train. The first stop is Dworzec Glowny. The last stop is Wieliczka Rynek Kopalnia. The ticket you can buy at the train station, it costs around 4 PLN. The duration is approximately 25 minutes.
• entrance tickets
Tickets to the Salt Mine you can buy online or directly in Wieliczka, but please remember in high season, there are long queues. The great alternative is Sales Office located next to the Main Square in Krakow (exact address is Wislna 12A). You can buy the tickets there and avoid waiting for your turn in a queue.
We fully recommend wearing comfortable clothes, especially shoes, because you need to pass 800 steps down. Fit your outfit for your needs, but please remember there is quite warm – approximately 17-18 degrees.
Taking photos and recording is allowed.
• Hand luggage:
The maximum size of hand luggage is 35cmx20cmx20cm. Please, leave bigger luggage in the storage room.
• Disabled people:
Visiting mine is possible, but please contact the department of reservations to settle details.
During the tour, you can go to the bathroom or have a meal, but only in the marked places.
Have an unforgettable experience in the best salt mine in Poland!